Adrenal Fatigue: The Working Mom’s Syndrome

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I’m about to explain one of the most common, yet one of the most overlooked health problems impacting many women. You’ll understand exactly how and why you’re so tired and why you may be relying on caffeine and sugar to give you the energy you need to get you through your day. You’ll understand why you may have suddenly gained a few pounds, why you seem to be getting sick more often and why you may have grown more impatient. You’ll learn why you may feel like you have “brain fog,” where you don’t feel as sharp or clear as you once did and why you’re forgetting details that in the past were easy to remember. You’ll understand why you lost your sex drive, why PMS symptoms seem to be getting worse, why everyday tasks seem to require more effort than before, why your ability to handle stress seems to be decreasing, and why it’s harder to be productive and stay on task. You’ll understand how and why you “lost your mojo.” Finally, you’ll understand why even though you may have gone to the doctor for one or many of these issues, they didn’t diagnose anything and sent you on your way without a plan or a solution. 

So what’s the problem? It’s called adrenal fatigue and if there’s one group that seems to be afflicted with it the most, it’s the high-achieving, driven, ambitious, busy working mom. Most physicians acknowledge a problem only when there’s a diagnosis of Addison’s or Cushing’s disease (both adrenal issues), yet adrenal fatigue falls under the radar and impacts more people than both of those issues combined.

Why is this so common among working moms? You’re not going to like the answer, but here goes. You’re entirely too capable.

You have the ability to juggle work, family and dozens of responsibilities, tasks and errands within each arena. You manage to get things done and get them done well. You do in a day what it would take 5 people to do in a week. But, it’s not without a price. Your body is letting you know this pace and lifestyle is unacceptable, but you forge ahead anyway. As you notice certain symptoms and try to ignore them, here’s a look at what’s happening internally.

Because of the level of stress you have (which you may not even realize because this pace has become your new normal), your adrenal glands become exhausted…just like you. Cortisol, the stress hormone, continuously rages through your system, which raises your blood sugar level. This leads to insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes), higher cholesterol levels, disrupted sleep, and more. Low immunity is making you more susceptible to illness and making it harder to recover from illness. Your thyroid is suppressed, which is slowing your metabolism. The high sugar level is also causing inflammation, which is the root cause of just about every illness, condition and disease you can think of.

So as with most things, there’s good news and bad news. I’ll give you the bad news first to get it out of the way.

Keep this up and you’re headed for chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease and more, while speeding up the aging process, losing your vitality, enjoyment and quality of life. Whew! Okay, now the good news.

It’s entirely preventable, treatable and curable.

How do I know? Not only is this something I work on with my clients daily but for the second time, I’ve become the poster child for adrenal fatigue and at this very moment, I’m healing from it again myself.

You know that saying, “We teach what we need to learn”? Seems the universe is letting me know that this needs to be my specialty, as I learn the best and most effective ways to heal and recover, trying them out on myself so I can share what works best with other women.

As a busy working mom, I get it. I have a husband, home, four kids, five dogs and a full-time business. I first crashed and burned from adrenal fatigue a few years ago. As busy working moms often do, I put myself last and ran myself ragged. I had no energy, was in constant pain, depressed, gained weight, started losing my hair, developed degenerative disc disease, arthritis, bursitis, had constant upper respiratory infections, herniated discs, problems with vision, sleep, and skin and digestive issues, to name a few. Until I simply couldn’t do it anymore, I spent my days working, raising my kids and whenever I could, I went from doctor to doctor to try and find out why my body was failing me. Eventually, I had to give up my entire business with clients that I loved because I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t have the strength, energy or health to do anything at all.

It didn’t make sense. I should have been the picture of health. I was eating well and exercising…which was perfect because it allowed me to realize that my illnesses had to have something to do with my level of stress, my mindset, pace and lifestyle.

I started by cutting ties to toxic relationships. I changed my mindset and outlook while tweaking my eating and exercise habits. These changes, and more, slowly led to a complete recovery. I “got my mojo back” and started working again, eager to share what I’d learned with my clients. They started getting their mojo back, which led to a new brand, business and title given to me by my clients that I lovingly embrace, as “The Mojo Coach.” It also led me to discover my greatest mission, passion and purpose…helping women look, feel and live their best so they can live the lives they want most.

So how did this happen a second time? This time, it wasn’t from the stress of toxic relationships or toxic thinking, but simply because of a chaotic, overextended and jam-packed lifestyle. Does this sound like you?

So here I am again and here’s what my doctor said: “Had you not been in the condition you were in going into this, and had you kept this up, we most probably would have discovered something devastating.” Yikes!

The great news is that if you’re currently suffering from any or all of these symptoms, it’s likely treatable and reversible with the right combination of rest, taking the stress down a few notches, making adjustments to your eating and exercise habits, while carefully supplementing with the right nutrients to rebuild your adrenals, improve your immunity, and more.

I know it’s easier said than done (trust me, I’m a work in progress…again). But, as I heal from adrenal fatigue a second time myself, I hope you’ll join me in becoming aware of some lifestyle habits that may need changing while listening to what your body is trying to tell you. Then I encourage you to join me in slowly make the changes you need to in order to improve your health, energy, quality of life and, well, regain your mojo. 🙂

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July 2012
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